The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by Science@home is for anyone, because we are all teachers and learners. This month our bloggers have come up with some wonderful suggestions for fun things to do with your kids, ways to help them learn and thoughts on what learning is. Please read to the end to find links to other blogs, you might find a wonderful new blog to follow.
**********************As a parent, the most fun activity programs I enjoy are things to do with the 5 senses. Young children delight in being active with their learning, so activities where they can explore feeling, tasting, smelling, listening, and looking are all usually a big hit in our household.
I have put together 5 fun places where you can explore the 5 senses with your toddler or pre-schooler. The great thing is kids don't even realize they are learning so much doing fun things like this!
In the kitchen:
Something as simple as juicing some oranges can be used to explore the 5 senses. Look at the oranges and see the gorgeous bright orange colour. Cut them in half and smell the yummy orange scent. Juice them and listen to the squelching as they are juiced. Feel the orange rind texture of the outside of the orange and the squishy flesh inside. Taste the delicious juice!
At the beach:
The beach offers a huge amount of opportunities for exploring the 5 senses. Paddle through the water, dig through the sand, touch some slimy seaweed with your hands to feel the contrasting textures. Taste a little bit of the salty sea water - yuck! Find a shell and look at its colors and shapes. Listen to the rhythmic sound of the waves lapping on the shore. Smell the fresh salty sea air, or smell the rotten fish washed up on the beach (!).
In the garden:
The garden of course is one of the most popular teaching tools for the 5 senses. Even in a small garden there is lots to find to explore. Sit with your child and wait for a bird. Look at the colourings and plumage. Listen to the bird song. Maybe there will be more than one type of bird and you can compare them. Do you have a small vegie garden or some herbs in pots? Let your child help dig or re-plant. Feel the soil texture in the fingers, compare to the texture of some bark or mulch. Taste a little bit of herb. Crush some herb leaves between your fingers and smell the pungent scent. Maybe name the herb and what you might use it in.
In the bathtub:
Bath time is usually one of the favourite time of day for kids. Why not incorporate some fun activities to explore the 5 senses? While the bath is running, pour some fun bubble bath in. Smell the delicious scent of the bubble bath wafting up. See masses of bubbles forming under the stream of water. Feel the bubbles, what do they feel like? Slippery? Foamy? Once your child is in the bath, put in a range of toys. Kids always seem to drink bath water for some reason, why not ask them what it tastes like - is it soapy? Is it yummy? Plonk a toy up and down on the water, listen to the sound. Then plonk a different toy up and down on the water. Is the sound different?
Going for a walk through a park:
There is nothing more gorgeous that seeing a child's wonderment at the simplest things we take for granted. A little bug, rain falling, watching the clouds make formations. On a walk you can have so much fun exploring the environment. On your way through the park, walk through some fallen leaves. Listen to the scrunching munching sound of the leaves. Or if they are wet are they squishing and squelching? There is so much to look at on a walk through the park. Gather a bunch of leaves together. Compare leaves from different trees - how are they different? Look at the shape, some might have smooth edges and some might have serrated. Some might be green toned and some might be brown or red tones. Feel the surface of the leaves. Are they waxy? Smooth? Furry? Rub some leaves in your fingers. What sort of scent is it? Fresh? Musty? And finally taste - after all this hard work maybe the kids deserve a delicious cold yummy ice-cream from the ice-cream stand. Why not ask them to describe in as many descriptive words as possible how their ice-cream tastes!
And to finish off here is an excellent educational video on "The 5 Senses" I found on You Tube:
Visit Science@home if you are interested in participating in next month's Teach/Learn carnival. Please take the time to visit the other participants and see what they have to say:
- 5 Places to Teach the 5 Senses - Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey has some great suggestions for places to go and use all five senses when playing with your kids. (@yrcheekyMonkey)
- Don't look now, but... you're being watched - Sarah from Untenured Teacher is asking about what we really want kids to learn in the classroom, and how are we unconsciously teaching them?
- Make Your Own Abacus - Staci at Teaching Money to Kids has an amazing activity to make your own abacus, which you can eat when you've finished.
- Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival – Kids and Learning - Marita from Stuff With Thing and her daughter have been travelling around the city in different ways and working out how to walk to Queensland. (@leechbabe)
- How to Study Like a Black Belt - The Original SuperParent can tell you how to study like a black belt, with great tips for focusing and getting the most out of your learning. (@superparents_au)
- Learning is a Journey - Deb at Science@home invites you think of learning in a different way and join your children on their journey. (@ScienceMum)
- Art for little kids - Katepickle at Picklebums encourages us to let go of our adult expectations and just enjoy the creative process with our small children. (@katepickle)
- Learning As We Walk - The Planning Queen walks to school with you and learns all sorts of things on the way. (@PlanningQueen)
- B-I-N-G-O is the name of the game - AmandaB from HomeAge shows her own learning in action - the maths game didn't quite work, but she's worked out how to modify it for next time.
- What's In a Reflection - Miss Carly at Early Childhood Resources has a beautiful story about babies learning all the time, even when they are only a few months old. (@ECresources)
- Developing Brains: Laying the Pathways to Learning - Christie from Childhood 101 talks about the importance of sensory learning for early brain development and has lots of ideas for play that engages the five senses. (@Childhood101)
- The Magical Threshold Of School-Age - Mamapoekie at Authentic Parenting wonders why we have a point that we call school age and how children are not ready one day but ready the next. (@mamapoekie)
- Why you should help your child follow their passions - CatWay at Adventures with Kids helps her son learn about dinosaurs. (@adventureskids)
Thanks for joining us! We hope to see you next month.